Forget hymns like “Abide With Me”, “Amazing Grace” and “Jerusalem” the next time you attend a funeral, because you’re more likely to hear Monty Python’s “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life” or the theme song from the Benny Hill television show.
A survey of 30,000 funerals conducted last year found that hymns were now the most popular requests at only 35% of services. “My Way” by Frank Sinatra was the most popular, followed by “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler and “Time To Say Goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman.
“You Raise Me Up” by Westlife and “Angels” by Robbie Williams made the top 10, while X Factor winner Alexandra Burke’s “Hallelujah” was at number 26 only months after topping the Christmas chart.
Lorinda Sheasby, of Co-operative Funeralcare, said the findings indicated that tastes are changing, with television programs and chart hits influencing people’s choices.
“Today’s tear-jerking chart topper is extremely unlikely to be tomorrow’s funeral classic but it’s quite possible it will figure highly in the months or even years to come.”
On the downside, priests reject one in 10 requests, including those for AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” and “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen. Even further on the downside is that some requests are for theme songs from soap operas.
People must be awfully dull round here because I hardly ever get asked for anything like the above. My biggest problem just now is that Dad is requesting Courage Brother, Do Not Stumble. Quite. Have you ever heard it?